Dawn of a new era for Sheffield buses

Buses on Sheffield's High Street
Buses on Sheffield's High Street

BUS passengers are set to reap the rewards of a wave of improvements and price cuts to services after a new strategy was given the go-ahead.

South Yorkshire Integrated Transport Authority has approved plans for the ‘groundbreaking’ Sheffield Bus Agreement, which will see companies co-operate over routes, timetables and fares.

The new network, designed to encourage more people to travel by bus, launches on October 28.

From that date, a discounted multi-operator ticket will be available, causing fares to fall by as much as 23 per cent. The Citywide Day ticket will be slashed to £4.30 and new weekly, 28-day and annual tickets will be introduced.

Passengers can also expect fewer changes to routes and timetables and better vehicles, after transport bosses pledged to provide newer, greener, low floor buses.

Meanwhile, operator Stagecoach - part of the partnership - has announced an offer allowing two passengers to travel together for the price of one on any of its Sheffield routes throughout August, starting on Monday.

The offer comes just a week after First South Yorkshire, which operates the majority of routes in the city, launched a cut-price fares campaign for summer.

Coun Leigh Bramall, vice chairman of the South Yorkshire Integrated Transport Authority, said: “The partnership is the best deal for Sheffield. It will see better buses offering a better, more reliable and affordable service, with a unified approach to customer information and a modern approach to ticketing.

“What’s more, we are able to implement this from October, bringing people far better public transport now, not in three years’ time.”

The Sheffield Bus Partnership brings together South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive, First South Yorkshire, Stagecoach Sheffield, TM Travel, Sheffield Community Transport and Sheffield Council. The Government has pledged £8m in funding over five years to support the agreement.

David Young, of South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive, said: “This is the Sheffield people’s bus network. We hope it will persuade more people to switch to buses.”